What I know about the world of professional ballet, I learnt from Centre Stage. It’s full of bruised toes and unwavering dedication. Sultry love affairs and a lifelong diet. But upon speaking with Nicola Curry, ballerina for The Australian Ballet, I was surprised (and somewhat disappointed) to hear only some of this was true. With a love for her husband – and for croissants – you can only guess what.
As a nominee for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award 2016, with ten years under her tutu with the American Ballet Theatre, and countless shows around the globe, Nicola is a real life ballerina. And with a body that appears to be sculpted, we couldn’t wait to speak with her.
So if you’re still hanging on to the idea of Centre Stage, read on to find out what it’s really like to be a professional dancer.
Born: Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Known for: Being the ballerina from New York who followed her heart to Australia and married the builder from Brisbane. I am also lucky to have recently been nominated for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award, the most prestigious prize in The Australian Ballet.
Personal motto: Remain grateful. I love this quote by Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Success is: Living out your passion and using the gifts you were given to their fullest.
Advice I would give my 20 yr. old self: Have goals and a vision of what you want your life to look like, but be open to the crazy, unexpected turns that come up. Your life will be radically different than what you expected. Embrace each new opportunity, don’t sweat the small stuff, and trust that when one door shuts, another one, the perfect one you’re meant to walk through, will open. Remain curious.
People are surprised that I: am a real life ballerina… this is my “day job”.
I’m inspired by (person, place or idea): kindness, humility, and grace, music and art, people passionate about what they do.
The biggest risk I have taken (that has paid off) is: moving to Australia.
From my mistakes, I have learnt: the only way to learn is to take risks and make mistakes – embrace life, and live outside your comfort zone.
My most used emoji is: 👌 and 😂
Wake up time: Depends on if it’s a rehearsal or performance day – some time around 8:30ish.
Morning ritual: I hop up and splash water on my face and get dressed and ready to head out. I’ll either have breakfast at home, or I’ll stop by a café on my way to the studios/theatre to grab a coffee and bite to eat. Mornings are the best time to call the States because of the time difference, so I’ll usually always try to Facetime someone in my family – my parents, sister or brother – on my way to work. Because we tour and travel so much and our days often start at different times in different places, I don’t have a specific routine that is the same every day. I do always try to get to the studios/theatre an hour before our morning ballet class starts to do Pilates and get my body moving to prepare for the day.
Desk lunch: I’ll often have a soup or sandwich – anything that’s not too heavy so that I can still dance and hop around during our afternoon rehearsals.
Last thing I do at night: Tell my husband I love him.
Guilty pleasure: Painting my nails – it relaxes me like nothing else, and I love a good croissant.
3 things vital to my day: prayer, morning ballet class/workout, lots of water
Juice: I love a good green juice.
Coffee: I’ve actually only just started drinking coffee since moving to Australia about two years ago. I’m now a sucker for a good flat white.
Culture stop: Any museum or gallery – I love art and was spoiled with all of the incredible museums in New York when I lived there. I’m so thrilled there are such wonderful exhibitions that come to Australia, and I’ll often pop into the NGV as it’s right next to our studios/theatre in Melbourne. I also love anything flower related, and I love being next to the botanical gardens when we’re in Sydney performing at the Opera House!
Sports top: any kind of t-shirt.
Sports shorts: Tree Trunks.
Shoes: I often wear Doc Martins or a good, chunky everyday heel. Comfort is key when I’m not in pointe shoes!
Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples.
Watch: Marc Jacobs.
Store: I love Sass and Bide.
App: Google maps! This is probably my most used app, and it has saved me so many times whenever I’m on tour/travelling in a new city.
Binge watch: Suits.
Instagram stalk: @nytimes @natgeo @historyphotographed | interior decorating accounts: @inandoutdecor @onekingslane @threebirdsrenovations | unique jewellery accounts: I love @mociun | the urbanlists: @urbanlistmelbourne…sydney…brisbane – always on the hunt for new restaurants to try and things to check out around town | florists like @looseleaf__